- By Asuquo Aniekan
The market leader is the custodian of the industry. Sometimes, it is the iconic symbol or generic name for the category. It behoves on it to make investments in continuous knowledge and market development initiatives for the benefits of the entire product category and industry at large.
For organisations and brands in this position of leadership either as the first to the market or as an innovator who eked out a non-existent category for the purpose of entrenching itself, the onus for the success of the category rests on its shoulders. This infers that the market leader should to a reasonable extent be a selfless and futuristic, proactive entity whose actions consciously or otherwise call the shots and dictate the pace in its spheres of influence.
A brand that has stood in fulfilling the roles of market leader in the dairy segment of the market is Nigeria Peak Milk, a world-class iconoclast brand on the FrieslandCampina WAMCO stable, has been in the Nigerian market for over 65 years and remains the brand to beat.
The feat is not a happenstance, but rather deliberate strategic efforts have been kept at nurturing and maintaining its market leadership status, building on its competitive advantage and guiding the flanks to protect its market share. Speaking on the strategy of Peak market leadership, Tarang Gupta, Marketing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO says the most important learning he had picked up during this period “is the balancing act of short and long term plans” especially in the face of “shrinking economy, diminishing consumer spending, operational challenges (due to forex crisis), rising inflation, high input cost of doing business”.
For the chief custodian of the Peak brand, staying true and honest to the consumer has been one of the Peak’s strategies. “Never think that a consumer does not know what you are doing. In WAMCO, we always ensure we sustain our product quality to guarantee our consumers get the impeccable quality they deserve”. Likewise, as the most important asset for any business, the people provide a level of competitive advantage for the organisation, especially during a crisis – where the team can either drown by the gloom or find opportunities among issues. “The WAMCO marketing team in last 2 years has followed the latter because we all believe in ‘Power of Positive Thinking’”, Tarang disclosed. It is also important to keep the eyes on the ball by “staying true to brand’s vision and purpose and keep that as priority, while managing short term obstacles”.
While the above may mostly be at a strategic level, a recent campaign activation brought out the leader in the Peak Milk brand while reinforcing its enviable pedigree among the consumer and competition.
PECADOMO an acronym for ‘Peak Can Do More”, according to the marketing Director, “is not just a campaign, but an initiative to expand the usage occasions for milk in Nigeria”, across all social economic strata of the population and markets.
The reason behind this objective the company emphasises is that Nigeria, not being a dairy producing country, the usage of milk is not as diverse and entrenched as compared to some of the other countries like India, Holland etc. This fact is also not helped by the current almost protracted economic slowdown, the consumption and usage occasions of milk was reducing.
Hence, in order to save the industry, save its market and ultimately its business, PECADOMO was introduced (by the industry leader, Peak Milk) to help show consumers that milk can be much more versatile than just being used in tea or cereal. It emphasises that milk does not just add to taste but also significantly improves the nutritious value of the dish and thus having double advantage.
While the innovative PECADOMO activation is changing the message over time to bring more and more users to the brand, the marketing is also being expanded to gain more market share. At the more strategic level, the concept aims at growing industry’s total market size and defend market share.
Attesting to the efficacy of the unique innovation, the CMO confirmed, “this campaign has been extremely positive both from the consumers and the industry”.
Since this is about creating new habits and deepening the industry, he added, “we will continue to educate Nigerian consumers on usage of milk and expand the category’s sphere of relevance, because with Peak ‘You Can Do More’”.
As a leader beats paths in uncharted terrain, direct and indirect competitors have embraced the concept as it brings out creativity among the Nigerian consumers. According to the CMO, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has received some very innovative ideas on how consumers have found different ways to use Peak milk in their dishes and he stated “I was impressed with the exciting variations done by the school kids” during the 2017 World Milk Day celebration on June 1. Some of these recipes have been uploaded on the website so others can also have fun trying them out – www.peakmilk.com.ng.